Permission has now been given to open our churches for private prayer and services.  Because the COVID-19 virus can settle on surfaces for up to 72 hours we cannot yet return to normal opening.

Funerals and weddings may now take place in Church with appropriate social distancing and no more than 30 people.
Our churches re-open for Private Prayer and Services

The Church of England and Diocese of York have given comprehensive guidance for re-opening our churches for Private Prayer and services.  Here are some of the salient points:

Holy Communion is permitted in one kind.  The bread for the congregation will be covered whilst it is consecrated.  Communicants are encouraged to sanitise their hands immediately before receiving.  The host will be given without touching the recipient’s hands.  Communicants are asked to stand rather than kneel at the altar.

The two-metre ‘rule’ applies for public worship except in situations where closer contact cannot be avoided.  Individuals and family groups must be two metres apart. Communicants will be directed by the Stewards to ensure appropriate distances are maintained and a flow of traffic.

Single use service sheets will be employed.  We cannot use prayer books or hymn books because of the risk of transmission. 

While those at extra risk and the ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’ should be advised of the risks of attending public worship, a decision to do so is theirs alone.

Masks should be worn at all time

Specifically, at St Gregory’s Minster in order for the Choir to sing an enhanced risk assessment has been undertaken following the guidance of the Church of England, the Diocese of York and the Royal School of Church Music.